Capstone Update #1

I have completed all the data collection from the competitive gymnasts in northeastern Ohio. I have entered the quantitative data into an excel spread sheet with categories including frequency of pressure and comments from coaches, home, school, friends, and oneself. I have noticed that the younger the gymnasts felt less pressure from coaches and didn’t notice comments about their bodies and health. However, older gymnasts, 16-18 years old, have said that they feel pressure from multiple sources nearly every day, and catch on to other people’s judgmental thoughts and comments about their body and health from coaches and friends. This has made me think about two things: the parallelism to the theory of mind and the indirect pressure in the form of fear of future judgement. The Theory of Mind is the continual growing of cognitive ability. It starts when younger kids believe that everyone knows what they know. Then they develop the ability to understand that another person may not understand what they are thinking. I believe that the ability to pick up on another’s opinion towards another increases, which would match the data that I have gathered. Younger gymnasts did not recognize their own body or other people’s opinions of them. However, the older gymnasts have a larger understanding of other’s opinions and more insecurity about their bodies. The second point is that some gymnasts may have enough insecurity about their body or appearance that they are proactive with their actions to avoid receiving comments and judgments from others. This means that a gymnast may take part in poor nutritional habits such as purging or restricting to prevent a coach, friend, family member, or themselves to think less of them.

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